introduction of a high-definition version of our XDCAM system marks
the continuing evolution of optical technology as users shift from
standard definition production," said Alec Shapiro, senior
vice president of Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Production Systems
Division. "This new XDCAM line-up rounds out Sony's range of
HD production tools, filling an important niche between Sony's entry-level
and high-end formats."
The two XDCAM HD camcorders - models PDW-F330 and PDW-F350 - both
offer the production features that professional users need, such
as true 24P recording in SD or HD, interval recording, and slow
The PDW-F350 additionally offers true variable frame rate recording
capabilities; also commonly known as "over-cranking" and
"under-cranking" or "slow-motion/fast motion"
is a much-desired and often critical feature for cinematographers
and directors of photography who need the flexibility of changing
frame rates to create unique `looks' for their productions or to
create special effects," said Robert Ott, vice president of
optical and network systems for Sony. "For digital cinematographers,
the ability to shoot at slower or faster frame rates than playback
gives them the great motion effects often seen in film cinema."
The PDW-F350 enables variable frame rate recording at a range of
frame rates from four frames per second (fps) to 60 fps in one frame
increments. For example, when viewed at 24 fps, four fps yields
motion six times faster than normal. In comparison, 60 fps yields
motion at 40 percent normal speed. These effects can be played back
in the camera or on a Sony optical deck, without the need for any
additional special processing through a non-linear editing system
or converter. The PDW-F350 also enables true 24P, 25P and 30P image
capture, without any additional conversion required.
The XDCAM HD products offer the flexibility of recording 1080i video
in three data recording rates: 25 Mbps, plus 35 Mbps and 18 Mbps.
The system records high-definition content to Sony's existing Professional
Disc single-layer media using an HD MPEG-2 Long GOP video compression
The camcorders use three half-inch CCD 1.5 megapixel imagers with
a variety of lenses from major manufacturers available.
The PDW-F70 and PDW-F30 decks enable high-speed data transfer between
compatible nonlinear devices. Both decks up-convert XDCAM standard
definition content recorded in the DVCAM™ format to 1080i high definition
at output, and all XDCAM HD camcorders and decks can down-convert
HD material to standard definition in anamorphic, letterboxed or
"We are also continuing to develop our alliances with 30 leading
manufacturers of compatible products to further strengthen the adoption
of an optical workflow by a broader audience of customers,"
Based on blue-laser technology, the XDCAM system's Professional
Disc media offers unique benefits in terms of split-second random
access to footage in the field
or during the post process, and multi-format flexibility and flexible
record times (approximately 120 minutes or more of HD content at
18 Mbps or 85 minutes of SD DVCAM at 25 Mps).
The Sony Professional Disc media is re-usable up to 1,000 read/write
cycles and up to 10,000 read/write cycles in ideal conditions, based
on Sony's own testing. The greater number of repeat recordings possible
with the XDCAM Professional Disc allows a production crew to re-use
it more often than a videotape and without experiencing degradation
after multiple uses of the media.
Additional features of the new XDCAM HD products include:
Expand function - takes a clip that has been initially tagged as
a thumbnail and divides it into 12 even time intervals. Each interval
also contains its own thumbnail for easy identification. This expand
function can be applied up to three times, making it easier to search
rapidly for scenes within a long clip, and also allows an operator
to drill down into a clip and quickly locate the desired editing
Freeze mix - enables a videographer to switch seamlessly between
pre-recorded material and live footage by showing these images on
the LCD screen or viewfinder. This function also helps adjust the
camera's position to set the same framing for the next shot.
Slow shutter -allows a maximum of 64 frames to be accumulated. In
low light levels this produces clear and noiseless video, and provides
a "fantasy" video effect with a ghost image.
products are expected to arrive in late March/early April.
Pricing (inc. GST):
(with lens): $29,990
F30: $ 15,000
Lens adaptor to use 2/3" lenses
F350 (w/out lens): $36,000